This is Globbo!
A PICO-8 adaptation of the classic Mac game Blobbo.
The goal of the game is to pick up all toy chests before proceeding to the next room through the stairs. Tread carefully though, or you might find yourself squished by a bowling ball or punctured by an arrow.
The game contains a subset of the features found in the original. Many of the rooms in this version have been inspired by the original. My approach for these rooms has been to try to make condensed versions of the originals, trying to capture the "theme" of a room while taking liberties with its layout to accommodate the 16x16 grid.
The aim was not to make a fully featured port of the original, but rather to pluck the best parts and reshape it in a way that works well with PICO-8.
Please enjoy! ^_^
D-pad / Arrow Keys: Move Globbo
Hold Cross / X + Circle / Z: Undo
Hold Cross / X + Up: Show play statistics
- Removed screen flash when rewinding
- Added a room select menu
- Added in-game how-to-play instructions
- Added a star award system to balance the good ending requirements after the room select menu was introduced
- Added spike trap obstacle
- Added four more rooms
- Ready for release 🎉
- Improved ending screen
- Swapped circle and cross button functions in the ingame overlay
- Added ingame overlay displaying room name and play statistics as well as giving access to undo feature
- Changed controls for undo feature to accommodate overlay and reduce risk of unintentional activation
- Fixed a bug where you could exit a room early after undoing chest pickups
- Added tutorial room
- Room 2 seemed too difficult to appear that early, moved it last in the room order
- Added undo feature, press circle (z) to undo
- Added some statistics to the win screen
- Fixed a bug that allowed the player to move diagonally, passing through some walls
- Added one way tiles
- Added marshmallow obstacle
- Added grid maze room
- Added marshmallow focused room
- Improved title screen
- Fixed a bug that allowed some arrows to slide past blocking tiles on a slope
Thank you for the kind words @dw817!
I just uploaded a new version that introduces a tutorial level and an undo feature. If you (or anyone else stumbling into this thread) are willing, I’d be super grateful for any feedback on these topics:
- Do you feel like you have a clear understanding of the game’s goal and mechanics after playing for 5-10 minutes?
- How does the ability to undo affect your ability to enjoy the game?
- How do you perceive the game’s difficulty curve at the moment?
- Anything else that might pop up when playing!
Please enjoy! ^_^
Is the 1st level the Tutorial Level, @siwu ?
And yes, I understand how it works. It's actually quite a bit like Boulderdash.
Except there is no scrolling map for me to get lost in. :)
UNDO is a very important part of any game for me no matter its category. I always take advantage of UNDO when I can and the game permits it. That and LOAD and SAVE STATE, giving you a chance to explore more fully and undo when it does not work.
The game difficulty is not so bad. You might add a level before the 1st that truly is a tutorial. Shows easy-to-reach treasures. Shows treasures with one bowling ball protecting them.
And on the same screen a bit of a complex puzzle where the goal is to grab all the treasures without getting hit by a ball.
You might add some text to each level like, "Double Trouble." and so forth, giving hints to the player as how to proceed in grabbing all the treasures.
The game itself is perfect as is. The only suggestion I might add to that would be smooth movements for the balls when they fall. Other than that you have a fine and polished product here.
> Is the 1st level the Tutorial Level, @siwu ?
That is correct! Or rather, I think of it as a tutorial, but it's by design never described as such ingame. My intention is to take the player through a "covert" tutorial at the beginning of the game, hoping to present the core mechanics in a "show, don't tell" way.
My goal is that they should learn how the game is played, having fun and feeling like they're making progress while doing so. But I haven't been able to do a lot of proper play testing yet, watching over the shoulder as people play, so I've not had a chance to prove or disprove this hypothesis.
Hey ! You've made quite a few of these changes, @siwu. Looking good !
As for rewind, I wouldn't have it flash the screen the way it is now. Have 🅾️ when held to show the status of the room and ❎ by itself to back up a move without flashing the screen.
> As for rewind, I wouldn't have it flash the screen the way it is now.
Thanks for sharing, @dw817. Could you elaborate a bit? What is it about the flash that doesn't agree with you?
When trying out different approaches for the feedback of the rewind, i started out just bumping the screen a bit in various directions. This effect remains, but I still felt like it lacked a bit of visual punch. The flash gave me more of this punch I was looking for, but I've been wondering if it's a concern for players with photosensitive epilepsy 🤔. For this reason, a warning and an option to turn it off may be good.
Thanks, @jo560hs! I'm glad you enjoyed it 😊
May I ask you a couple of questions about your experience?
- How many levels did you play through?
- Did you at any point find that the bowling balls or arrows behaved in a way that was not consistent with the way you'd come to understand?
level 5 was a big difficulty jump for me, but I got past it eventually. I wish there was a way to skip/replay levels -- a level select in the pico8 menu maybe?
but those are both small things; overall this was really fun, and had some nice puzzles. "combination lock" was particularly memorable for me. thanks for the game!
Thanks for the feedback @pancelor! I'm glad you enjoyed the game ^_^
Getting a feel for the difficulty curve has been particularly challenging, so you sharing your experience is super valuable!
I've been considering updating the game with a save feature at some point so that players feel like they can set the game aside and come back later without losing any progress. Allowing players to skip a challenging room and return to it later during a playthrough could also be a good QOL improvement. In the end, I want to provide an experience that is challenging, but not so overwhelming that players give up.
Potential room 5 spoiler below
I first named room 5 "Bridge Builder", but then changed it as I worried that it might be a bit on-the-nose. But perhaps poking players slightly more in the direction of what needs to be done could be a good thing here 🤔
haha yeah I can see why you chose a different name! more thoughts on level 5:
I think the main difficulty in #5 for me was the fact that there were around 4 subpuzzles to solve, and experimentation is pretty harshly punished in this game (if you die, you have to restart from the very beginning, solutions in this game are hundreds of moves long and each move is a bit slow, undoing is a bit slow and causes fullscreen flashing lights). I had to do the key move in #5 (building the bridge) about 5 or 10 times before winning, just due to my playstyle leading to a bunch of late deaths.
I feel like a puzzle designed in a "modern style" would have 1 level for each of those 4 subpuzzles. but I don't think that I would change the level (you know, if I were in charge of designing this, which I'm not!). the level design has a certain old-school charm to it, which I like! but I think a level select or a different level order or more medium-difficulty puzzles might help smooth the difficulty curve
You're presenting some nice insights there!
I suppose the punishment for dying is pretty harsh. I've previously considered not forcing a restart when you die, instead allowing you the option to undo (sort of like in Baba is You). My main concern there has been that softening the blow for dying would remove too much of the game's challenge or sense of stake. But I haven't had enough play testing opportunities to test those theories.
You're not the first to find the undo flash a bit jarring. Could be that I need to revisit that 🤔. Regarding the undo being slow, an alternative to try could be to not record frames where the player moving was the only change, so that you're only stepping back through moments where something significant happened.
Thanks again for being so generous with your feedback! 😊
Hi @siwu. Glad to help out.
Another thing you might consider is when the player dies, this can also be rewound 1-move. I was noticing many turn-based puzzles today (2022) allow for for this rewind so you spend less time repeating moves and more time thinking about solving the puzzle.
Also please don't shake the screen for rewind. Maybe okay to shake it good for death of player.
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